Windows 7 vs. Mac OS X Snow Leopard

image Well to date I have upgraded two machines to Windows 7 and I have to say that the whole thing has been a pleasurable experience. Not only has it breathed new life into a couple of old machines but also I am liking the improvements that have been made. I particularly like how you can drag a window to one side of the screen and it will automatically resize to fill 50% of the screen.

However, there is been a bit of a change at Thompson Manor with the addition of the first Apple Mac machine, a MacBook Pro to be precise, and this has given me a real opportunity to finally make a comparison between the two rival operating systems.

Mac is famous for, amongst other things, its ease of use and so I was confident that I could get to grips with it reasonably quickly. Oh contraire! What I have actually found is that my 15 odd years of working solely with Windows is acting against me. I find myself having to reach for Google to find out how to do the simplest of things that are just second nature to me in Windows.

So, for example, my initial problem was how to cut and paste – how on earth do you do it from the keyboard? That was quickly resolved.

Next, how do you take a screen grab? In Windows you press the Print Scn button and bingo the screenshot is copied to the clipboard. On a Mac there is a sequence of key presses that do the same thing but I am yet to learn them and, for a more complex screenshot, seem to require the dexterity of a concert pianist.

And don’t get me started on that keyboard. Where is the #? The Del is missing altogether and why are the @ and the “ in the US configuration? You wouldn’t think that you could miss the hash key quite as much as I do. It is the keyboard short cut in GMail to delete a mail and pressing alt+3 just doesn’t work.

That’s not to say that there isn’t plenty to like about Snow Leopard – the name is better for a start! But I do begin to wonder how many people are simply blinded by their familiarity with one operating system or another and, in fact, that they are both very close to each other in usability.

Any Apple fan boys out there want to chip in?